Practitioners Stand Up for Falun Gong in a Chinese Court of Law
(Minghui.org) By the time five Falun Gong practitioners were brought to trial on January 21, 2013, they had already been illegally detained for over eight months. Falun Gong has been persecuted in China since 1999. These practitioners were tried in the Kunming City Intermediate Court, which, like all courts in China, is controlled by the communist regime. The five-hour trial of Mr. Ye and his family was the longest ever in the court's history for Falun Gong-related cases.
The detained practitioners included Mr. Ye Baofu, former deputy director of Forestry Central Hospital; his wife, Ms. Yang Mingqing; their daughter, Ms. Ye Mao; Mr. Su Kun, teacher from the Yunnan National Defense Technology College; and his wife, Ms. Zhang Xiaodan.
Mr. Ye and his family displayed the characteristic compassion of Falun Gong practitioners to all those present in the courtroom. At every opportunity, they tried to help people to better understand the facts about the practice and choose the path free of hatred and persecution.
Mr. Ye's wife said in her own defense: “Today, I once again stand here as a defendant, charged with 'utilizing cult organizations to undermine law enforcement.' My practice of Falun Gong is legal, and Falun Gong is not a cult. It teaches Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, is beneficial to the nation, and does not do any harm. Possession of Falun Gong books and materials is also completely legal.
“Every single person—every living being—in the world is the object of Dafa's saving grace, including those who have persecuted Falun Gong. I have no resentment or hatred toward those who participate in the persecution; I just hope you can come to understand the truth. The less you persecute Falun Gong, the more hope there will be for you to have a bright future.”
Mr. Ye Demonstrates to the Court How Falun Gong Led a Death Row Inmate to Repent
Mr. Ye told the court how he had brought great positive changes to the thinking of a death row inmate by discussing the principles of Falun Gong with him in the Wuhua Detention Center.
The inmate had lost all hope and was intent on creating conflicts with everyone in the center, including the guards. He had even thought about killing the guards, thinking that no one could control him.
Hearing this, Mr. Ye asked to be assigned to the same cell and eventually got through to him by sharing his personal experiences with Falun Gong. The inmate eventually wrote a letter to Mr. Ye, saying that if he had heard about Falun Gong earlier, he would not have committed the crimes that put him on death row (and ultimately saw him executed). He asked Mr. Ye to show his letter to everyone in the judicial system. The presiding court judge accepted this letter as evidence of the righteousness of Falun Gong.
Mr. Ye's story reflects the truth that Falun Gong can benefit anyone, and that there is hope for anyone who can treasure the opportunity of a lifetime and remember that Falun Gong is good, and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.
Through testimony such as this, everyone in the courtroom witnessed and was touched by the compassion so often shown by Falun Gong practitioners.
Longest Falun Gong-Related Trial in the Court's History
The trial took place on January 21, 2013, and lasted 5 ½ hours, from 10 a.m. until 1:30 p.m., and again from 3 p.m. until 5 p.m. According to the bailiff, this was the longest Falun Gong-related hearing in the court's history.
In the early morning hours of January 21, the Kunming City Intermediate Courthouse began to fill. Those who had come to witness the trial ranged from 80-year-olds to small kids, and included many who hoped to help free the wrongly detained Falun Gong practitioners. They included the family members of the detained practitioners. Security personnel initially said that 30 of Mr. Su and Ms. Zhang's relatives would be admitted. However, officials only admitted 8 of them to the courtroom, with only immediate family allowed in. Only a cousin from Mr. Ye's entire family was allowed in.
Mr. Ye's trial was held in courtroom No. 21. There were four bailiffs and only one family member present. The presiding judge was Yang Jie, and the clerks were Li Xinghu and Li Shichao.
First, the two public prosecutors, Tang Yaqin and Li Yunbing from the Kunming City Procuratorate, read out the indictment that, as is typical in such cases, consisted of the usual trumped up charges routinely leveled against Falun Gong practitioners. Mr. Ye's attorneys refuted the charges one by one. There were three defense attorneys present, and they made a strong defense for Mr. Ye, his wife, and their daughter.
Right at the outset, the attorneys pointed out the prosecutors' presentation of the charges was illegal, as the prosecutors had only read out the titles of the evidence without showing any actual evidence. In addition, they had read out all of the evidence at once, without allowing an opportunity for the defense to raise questions against each piece.
None of the three practitioners (Mr. Ye, his wife, and their daughter) had signed their interrogation record. Ms. Ye pointed out that no one had ever asked her to do it.
No actual physical evidence was presented and the photos of so-called “evidence” appeared negligent and unprofessional. Since police did not follow standard protocol as required by law to collect and process the evidence, the attorneys argued that it was illegal. (Editor's note. Since the charges themselves are trumped up, accusing practitioners of a crime that doesn't exist, the whole notion of "evidence" may seem somewhat puzzling, even comical, to the Western onlooker, but such is the current state of things in these show trials of Falun Gong practitioners)
Prosecutors said that the 610 Office had performed the “authentication” for these pieces of evidence; however, this organization lacks the authority to perform any such acts per law. The final pieces of “evidence” were the books and materials taken from Mr. Ye's home, which consisted of Zhuan Falun and copies of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, as well as videos of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
Mr. Su and Ms. Zhang were originally scheduled to be tried after the trial of Mr. Ye's family. Their trial finally began at 5 p.m., but the earlier trial had lasted so long, by 5:30 p.m. the second was adjourned and rescheduled.
Background on the Practitioners Involved
i) The family of former Forestry Central Hospital deputy director arrested and persecuted
In the early morning hours of May 4, 2012, a special task-force vehicle appeared in the residential area of Mr. Ye's community. Several policemen arrested Mr. Ye, his wife, and daughter; took photos and video recordings; and conducted a full search of the premises. They confiscated a large number of personal belongings and cash, as well as cut Mr. Ye's telephone line. They left after 2 p.m., leaving behind many cigarette butts in the corridor of Mr. Ye's building. Mr. Ye's family was detained at the Wuhua Detention Center.
Mr. Ye, 62, is the former deputy director of the Forestry Central Hospital. His wife, Ms. Yang, 59, is the former head of the Forestry Training Center. Mr. Ye's daughter, Ms. Ye, 34, lost her job after police's harassment of her employer. The family has been persecuted for their belief in Falun Gong for over a decade.
On April 4, 2000, when Mr. Ye and his wife went to the Yunnan provincial government to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong, they were detained for 30 days. On August 15, 2001, he and his family were arrested at their temporary shelter by the Panlong District Domestic Security Division and the Riot Police Division. Mr. Ye and his wife were sentenced to two years of forced labor, and their daughter to one year of forced labor.
On January 10, 2005, Mr. Ye and his daughter were once again arrested at home by the Panlong District Domestic Security Division and the 610 Office. Their home was ransacked. Mr. Ye's wife was also arrested at her workplace. They were all held in the Panlong District Second Detention Center. Mr. Ye was later sentenced to five years in prison, while his wife and daughter were each sentenced to three years in prison. Mr. Ye and his wife were also fired from their jobs.
ii) Teacher of the Yunnan National Defense Technology College and his wife arrested
Mr. Su and his wife, Ms. Zhang, lived in Room 301, Unit 1, Building 2 of the dormitory on the World Expo campus of the Yunnan National Defense Technology College in the Panlong District of Kunming City. Since the communist regime began it persecution of Falun Gong, the couple has been routinely harassed and persecuted by the Panlong District Police Department.
On December 6, 2004, when Mr. Su Kun gave his students CDs with information about Falun Gong, a parent reported him to the police. Mr. Su was arrested by officers from Panlong District Domestic Security Division. He was sentenced to three years of forced labor and imprisoned at the Ward No. 3 of the Yunnan Province No. 2 Forced Labor Camp. On June 28, 2007, he was transferred to Ward No. 1, and his prison term was extended by seven months. Mr. Su returned home in July 2008.
On May 4, 2012, Mr. Su and Ms. Zhang were arrested at home by officers from the Panlong District Domestic Security Division. Police ransacked their home and confiscated their desktop computer, laptop, external hard drive, cell phone, and Falun Gong books, among other things. The two practitioners were incarcerated at the No. 2 and No. 1 Panlong District detention centers, respectively. Ms. Zhang was beaten at the detention center.